THE NETHERLANDS: The Woman Who Wanted a Smile

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The port of Rotterdam is an index of what has happened to the Dutch economy. Before the war, the port hauled 39 million tons of sea traffic; last year it handled only 12 million. Barge traffic on the Rhine used to be 53 million tons a year; now it is 8.

The traveler who went to Hoorn on the Zuider Zee was face to face with a warning. Once one of the country's great trading centers, Hoorn's crabbed brown houses now totter over narrow, idle streets. On the silent waterfront stands the old East India warehouse, once filled with the sharp scents of the spice trade. Hoorn had been made useless when the North Sea Canal was cut to Amsterdam in 1876. From the town square, an imposing statue looks down at the idle harbor. It is Jan Pieterszoon Coen, Holland's great governor of the East Indies, who had pushed into Java to found an empire. Graven on the base of the monument, for Dutchmen to read, is his terse motto: "Desespereert niet" (Do not despair).

The Dutch do not despair, but they know that unless the German and Indonesian trades are restored or replaced, the fate of Hoorn may become the fate of the whole nation. The symbol of Dutch confidence is Juliana.

The Princess last week attended one of her last state functions as a princess—she opened an exhibition on "The Netherlands Woman, 1898-1948." She looked almost girlish in a tiny white Dutch cap, a green print dress and sandals. Her unpainted nails nervously fingered the notes from which she read her speech: "In the past 50 years woman has finally had courage to descend from her pedestal and to go to work herself in those spheres for which she had formerly been deemed too delicate . . . She had not considered that her so-called most appropriate work—the task of being a mother and raising a family—was exactly the task . . . that demands the most from body and soul . . ."

The task of being mother to a large family was precisely what Juliana faced. Juliana had spent many years being a housewife and a mother as well as a princess, and (when help was short) she did her own huiswerk. The new Queen faced the huiswerk of a nation. No Dutchman doubted that she was equal to it.

"Hail V.V.S.L!" Almost since anyone can remember, Juliana's sturdy hands have been encased in spotless white gloves; yet they have never lost what only few royal hands dare possess—the common touch. Wilhelmina grew up in solitude, and did her best to spare her daughter that chilling ordeal. Instead of skating by herself on a guarded rink, Juliana did her skating with other kids. At 18, she entered Leiden University. She was a popular and adequate student, if not brilliant. Her judgment showed a Dutch caution that sometimes bordered on ludicrous understatement. Once she read a book by Leon Trotsky. Her opinion: "Trotsky is certainly a man of strong views."

At Leiden, Juliana wrote a three-act comedy called Bluebeard. It was a slightly Shavian version of the story, with Bluebeard depicted as a psychiatrist and golf enthusiast; Juliana herself played one of Bluebeard's wives. Another time, she tried her hand at poetry; her anonymous entry in a class contest was judged "song of the year." The refrain went:

Hail our students' cell!

Hail our girls' V.V.S.L.!*

Hail our year of heaven,

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